By Paul Moffitt
FINALS weekend at Lyme Regis Bowling Club weekend was blessed with beautiful late summer sunshine and warmth. It wasn’t just the sun that shone, there were some very bright performances on the green and some new names on the trophies.
First up on Saturday was the Men’s Handicap between Steve Pomeroy and Geoff Clode. Geoff was all over the jack on the trial ends but then proceeded to play the game both narrow and short. Steve took full advantage of Geoff’s shortcomings and ran out a very comfortable winner at 22-6 after just 14 ends.
Next up was the Men’s 4 wood Drawn Pairs. This was contested between John Sherring and Allan Weech against Rod Hobbs and Mick Heneghan. This was a very closely fought game dominated by Mick’s leadin and Allan’s skipping. The lead changed hands numerous times and at 13-15 down Allan took the jack into the ditch to pick up three to lead 16-15. Allan again played a beautiful stun shot on the 19th only to give it away with his next delivery. Rod and Mick held their nerve and scraped home 18-17.
Now it was up to the “Fillies’, Ann Allman and Avril Sherring, to strut their stuff representing ladies of a certain age! Anyone looking for a masterclass in line and length could not do better than emulate Ann Allman in this game. One could only feel compassion for her opponent to be on the end of such superb bowling. Avril did her best but there was no stopping Ann at 24-4 at which Avril conceded.
The Henry Broom Rose Bowl was up next, a competition brought forward to final’s weekend instead of being completed earlier. This was to be a battle of the sexes between Neil Solomon and Nicky Driscoll. This was another match that swung back and forth with Nicky having early success with longer jack lengths but slipping to 4-12 after eight ends. Tight right up to the final end when Neil picked up three to finish the winner 22-17.
Watered and fed, proceedings continued into the afternoon.
First up the Ladies’ 4 wood Drawn Pairs, Jasmine Bishop was paired with Jan Parsons against Pauline Knight and Chris Barber. This was always destined to be a close game and so it proved to be. Some excellent leading from Jasmine and Pauline equalled by fine skipping from Chris And Jan. The result : 21-19, was probably a fair outcome and, it was good to see Chris Barber back the sort of form we have been used to.
The 5 Set Singles between Steve Pomeroy and Simon Dowling was a wonderful encounter that I was lucky enough to mark. This was a titanic struggle of some 37 ends. The first four sets were marathons which they shared at two-apiece. Looking forward to a gripping final set, Steve changed up a gear to win 7-0 in just three ends.
Ann Allman was again in action against Chris Pomeroy in the Ladies’ 2 Wood Singles. This was another close contest between two vary different players. It is to Chris’ credit that she hung on to Ann for 19 ends before finally conceeding 14-9.
Steve Pomeroy is now back for his third final of the day playing against his son Paul in the Men’s 2 Wood Singles. It’s a foolish person who bets against Paul in a two-wood competition, but an injury to Paul after firing in the ninth end led him to retire and concede the game to his Dad. It has to be said that after racing away to 6-0 Steve, had pulled back to 6-7 against Paul and we could have been furter entertained by these two very good bowlers.
After a good rest overnight, the bowlers returned on a lovely Sunday morning to enjoy, hopefully, some more fine bowling. We were not to be disappointed.
In the Ladies’ Handicap, Ann Allman was facing Pauline Knight in what promised to be a good tussle. And so it proved to be. Ann was again in sparkling form, that nagging accuracy of line and length, but Pauline was not at all daunted. They traded shot after shot, neither wanting to give way until the 21st end when Pauline picked up an unexpected bonus of four shots. The green was drying out after the heavy dew overnight and the lines were changing. Ann lost her lines and Pauline was suddenly at 20-14 after 22 ends. Ann salvaged a couple more shots but Pauline held her nerve to finish 21-16 in a truly exhilerating game.
Next up the ‘Rocky’, for men of a certain age. Geoff Clode was again in action as was Rod Hobbs. I was hoping that Geoff had put yesterday’s disappointment to bed but, again narror and short bowls let him down. That’s not to take away any credit fron Rod who bowled very well and deserved his 22-7 win.
In the Mixed 2 Wood drawn Pairs, Avril Sherring and Simon Dowling took on Jasmine Bishop and Allan Weech. There was not too much to seperate the two ladies leading but the game was probably won because of Allan’s superior back-end bowling skills. He played several saving shots and they deserved their win of 17-13.
Now we come to the Married Couples, more commonly referred to as the ‘Divorce Stakes’. The Pomeroys (Chris and Steve) were taking on the Driscolls (Nicky & Barry). This was another very close game in which Nicky just edged the game up front but Steve was just too strong at the back for Barry and they finally succombed to the Pomeroy’s 25-18.
The Ladies’ Invitation on paper looked a very one sided match up. Nicky Driscoll and Jim Moseley were paired up against the very strong Ann Allman and Steve Chant. Very few would bet against them but, for the second time in a day Ann Allman was outbowled and that doesn’t happen too often ,as her opponents will justify. Nicky Driscoll was superb up front against the vastly experienced Ann and, with Jim chipping in with a few very telling shots when required they were not to be denied. A bit of a fright on the 20th end when Ann and Steve picked up four to close to 22-20. Nicky and Jim held on in a nervy last end to win a very well deserved victory at 23-20.
Now the big ones. The Ladie’s Championship between Jan Parsons and Chris Pomeroy and the men’s equivalent betweem Steve Pomeroy, again, and Simon Dowling.
The ladies’ game was a thrilling affair. Jan and Chris slugged it out over 20 ends to be 14 apiece. At this juncture Jan really put the pressure on and denied Chris any further scoring chances and ran out a worthy winner in a superb game at 22-14.
Now for the men. Steve already has four trophies in the bag but, this is the big one. At this point we are used to seeing Paul Pomeroy or Barry Rattenbury putting someone to the sword, and Steve has been on the wrong end of some of those encounters. Simon looked very determined to reverse his earlier defeat by Steve and Steve did look a little jaded- it has been a long weekend. Simon bowled with assurity whilst Steve showed odd touches of brilliance. Simon was not going to be denied and wrapped it up in the 20th end 22-15.
Many thanks must go to Allan Weech who, apart from playing, organised this weekend and the competitions throughout the season.
Photos all from L-R: 52: Avril Sherring & Ann Allman; 53: Steve Pomeroy & Geoff Clode; 54: Neil Solomon & Nicky Driscoll; 55: Mick Heneghan, Rod Hobbs, John Sherring, Allan Weech; 58: Ann Allman & Chris Pomeroy; 59: Jasmine Bishop, Jan Parsons, Chris Barber, Pauline Knight; 60:Steve Pomeroy & Simon Dowling; 69:Allan Weech, Jasmine Bishop, Avril Sherring, Simon Dowling; 70: Barry & Nicky Driscoll, Chris & Steve Pomeroy; 71: Rod Hobbs & Geoff Clode; 77: Jan Parsons & Chris Pomeroy; 78: Steve Pomeroy & Simon Dowling; 79: Steve Chant, Ann Allman, Nicky Driscoll, Jim Moseley.